Problem: Parents aren’t vaccinating their kids. There have always been parents who are hesitant about vaccines. But with social media, parents have begun forming groups and vocalizing their opinions online.
Observation: Anti-vaxers don’t think vaccines actually do anything. That’s only because vaccines are so effective that we rarely see the ugly side of these preventable diseases.Solution: Force them to see the consequences.
We created virtual diseases that take over a user’s Facebook when they post, comment on, or share anti-vax content. Over 72 hours, the disease will progressively get worse. Once they are infected, anyone who interacts (likes, shares, comments, DMs, attends an event) with the user will get the virus.
The first thing users will notice is an “infected,” glitchy Facebook logo. When clicked, it takes you to a microsite explaining why their Facebook is glitching out, with information about vaccinations and explaining the need for this campaign.
Polio harms one’s motor control, so the virus impacts users’ clicking and scrolling.
The screen will get pixelated to mimic the blotchy, red skin that measles causes.
The browser will zoom in more and more to mimic the swelling from mumps.
People with smallpox can’t help but scratch their skin, so users’ cursors will be jittery.
Our goal isn’t to break Facebook. Nor is it to censor people.
We want people to understand the harm that they cause when they spread misinformation about vaccines. This way, they can come to realize the consequences of their actions, and learn to change their own behavior.
Users will be able to get rid of the virus in a few ways. If they have been posting, commenting, or sharing anti-vax content, they can cure their virus by deleting their posts. They can also contribute by signing up for vaccination drives through Facebook Events, or by donating to nonprofits that promote vaccinations.
By involving people in the solution rather than excluding them from the conversation entirely, it will hopefully show people the harm they do, instead of just forcing them to find another platform to use.